Ashley and Mark’s pre-wedding shoot
Oh the stresses of a wedding- making guest lists, arranging the venue, and even making millions of decisions like the color of the flowers all add up quickly. But it can be different when you elope. But don’t take my word for it, here’s what Ashley had to say:
The flowers were the wrong color, but when you are in Santorini, WHO CARES :). It was SOOO beautiful!
I’m glad I was a part of their elopement journey. I had the opportunity to see their eyes and hearts light up in their first look. It was amazing how much trust I got from the couple to capture the intimate moments. While Mark was waiting on the roof Zenith Blue Hotel in Imerovigli (http://zenithblue.gr/) I helped Ashley with the dress. When I got to the roof it was a signal to Mark – it was time. He turned away just to see his beautiful bride in front of him seconds later.
To be honest, it is hard to have bad pictures with such a radiant and loving couple. Their energy and love captured me and I just held on to this wave as I captured these. I really feel all the work paid off when I received this sweet email:
I think we definitely did the best thing :) We explored, we had fun, and it was SO romantic. We had the best time, and we still talk about it all the time. Plus, EVERYONE LOVES YOUR PICTURES. People say how they wish you lived here. :)
Well Ashley, thank you but my heart is still in the magical island of Santorini.
I wish you the very best and I’m waiting for you to come back for your anniversary.
Santorini based vacation photographer Anna Sulte
Santorini wedding photographers tips for travelling with
a wedding gown
Many of my clients come to Santorini to get married or celebrate their anniversary. What you don’t realize when making this decision is that you most likely will have to travel to Santorini with your wedding gowns. For guys travelling with a suit is not that challenging, but international air travel with a wedding dress can be a challenge.
First of all, let’s begin with a decision that could make your life easier. If you want to travel, you can also take this into account when choosing the dress. In general, a very classical wedding dress with a long lower part and corset. It will be far easier if you go for a Greek style or any other smaller dress. However, I know how it is – you just like the dress and you’re ready for anything to get it to Santorini. If so, then go for it!
OK when you have picked the dress, you can start figuring out how to get it to your wedding. There is no absolute advice for it but there are things you can do to increase your chances. One of the best and safest solutions for this is to get a separate suitcase for the dress only. There are actually companies that can pack your dress professionally into it to minimise creasing. When you arrive you can arrange a steam pressing to make sure everything is OK. Just make sure you are totally confident of the maximum carry on size of your flight operator, make calls to double check if necessary.
There is another, more risky solution. It is just packing your wedding dress as usual in a clear cover and carrying it on the plane. If you do this, it is a bit of a gamble, but it can turn out pretty good. Your wedding dress will of course exceed the allowed luggage dimensions, but most airport workers see the dress and light up. There’s actually a closet in most airplanes or a place to hang it up without creasing. If you’re on a long distance flight, you increase your chances dramatically if you fly first class.
If you have the time and are willing to go on an adventure, you can also arrive earlier and go wedding dress shopping closer to your destination. If you’re coming to Santorini, there are millions of possibilities in Greece before you board the ferry to the island, not to mention some spots in here as well. You can also use websites to plan and preview the dresses you want to try on. This is a good solution if you’re adventurous and willing to experiment a bit.
So there you have it, hope this helps and if you used a different technique, please let me and other couples know!
Santorini photo session by Anna Sulte, photographer based in Santorini
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GETTING MARRIED IN A SANTORINI CHURCH
The traditional Greek wedding ceremony is truly a beautiful thing full of traditional rituals, which I have explained in my article here. Much has been said about the Greek way of getting married; however little is known about the actual practicalities — arranging everything, handling expenses etc. I taught I could give you few tips about this today.
- First of all, I must say that there are really many chapels in Santorini, but only a few do wedding ceremonies. If you have chosen your dream spot for your perfect day, it is worth enquiring if they do these type of ceremonies. Few Santorini chapels to check –here.
- Leave the planning for professionals. Santorini has some of the most experienced wedding organizers out there, so don’t be afraid to look for help with the arrangements for your special day. They will approach it in a practical manner, suggest venues, calculate pricing and stick to your budget!
- Prepare all the necessary documents! Wedding in Santorini has its legal details — you should really find your wedding planner before arriving to Greece, so that you would be absolutely sure of the documents you need to proceed with your plans, have them translated etc.
These are some of my remarks to help you along the way — I find that handling all the practicalities get a bit confusing sometimes, so I hope this helps! But the most important thing is — let yourself go and enjoy this amazing experience in Santorini!
I’m working on mini-series of posts on Santorini villages. There are 15 villages on the island and plenty to explore/choice from for.
Here I add link to my previous blog post about Greek wedding traditions and here.
Santorini portrait photographer Anna Sulte, based on the Island of Santorini.
SOME THOUGHTS ON SANTORINI PRIVATE DESTINATION WEDDINGS
Hey, I’m glad you stumbled upon this post! If you’re reading this you’re most probably considering your Santorini private destination wedding. Let me give you just some quick pointers before your decision. These are just some things to consider.
- Total freedom to do what you want on your wedding day
You don’t have to adhere to any norms or other official ceremonies, what you do on your wedding day is really up to you! Since you’ll be the only wedding guests, you can get very wild and creative. Maybe you want to get married and go diving all day long? Or maybe you want to spend the whole day in a restaurant or hiking the island? There are no limits, really.
It will be less stressful as there are no official strict schedules to follow etc. It’s just about you two and the things you enjoy most
- No family and friends by your side
This is simultaneously the best and the worst thing of such a type of wedding. You’re not so stressed because you don’t have crowds of people; however, you won’t have your closest friends and family by your side as well. There is a solution to this, see point 4.
- You can organise a small pre-wedding ceremony back home!
Lots of couples opt to take the best from two worlds and just make a small celebration the day before they’re coming to Santorini. It is usually a small gathering of the closest friends and family and it is quite relaxed. Off course, you can get really formal — it’s up to you!
- Getting creative with your look and wedding photos!
Who says you have to have a white dress and tuxedo? We usually tend to stick to tradition when we’re holding big ceremonies, but this could be the occasion to get creative! Maybe you want a ping Greek style dress? The same goes for your wedding photo session; you could go on a hike to a mountain and have it there if you want to!
Hope this helps you make up your mind. Regardless of the type of wedding you want to have, Santorini is definitely a good choice for romantic trips, weddings and honeymoons — this is probably one of the most romantic spots on earth!
Thank you Marissa and Nick for an amazing Santorini photo shoot.
I wish you all the best!
Photo shoot by photographer located on Santorini Anna Sulte
SOME OF THE MAIN GREEK WEDDING TRADITIONS
Although most Greeks are Orthodox, that does not mean they follow the classical Orthodox ways in all matters. A Greek wedding is one such example. I already wrote about some of the traditions which are very much connected to the Orthodox Church, now it’s time to look at some of the differences. Today I want to highlight some or the rituals which make the Greek weddings so unique that they have become famous around the Globe.
First of all, a wedding is no small matter in Greece. Well, don’t get me wrong – it is no small matter in any culture, but the Greeks start preparing for their wedding early and they have celebrations associated with the wedding even before the big day arrives. Such a celebration for the relatives and friends is called Krevati (Greek for bed) – it’s usually a merry celebration with food and wine, and it is customary that the guests let their young children play in the bed of the newlyweds and put some money in it for fertility and prosperity. This is the time when all the relatives of the new family forms a strong bond and really gets to know each other.
It is a custom that Greeks usually have their weddings on Saturdays; however, this tradition is not so strict, it’s OK to have the wedding on a Friday or Sunday. The groom mustn’t see the bride before the wedding; in some areas it is customary for the relatives and friends to accompany the newlyweds separately and play some traditional music instruments. During the ceremony the couple share a chalice of red wine, it’s a symbol of sharing the cup of life. When the couple leaves the church, the guests throw flowers and rice as a symbol of fertility and felicity in the lives of the newlyweds.
The Greeks sure know how to throw a good wedding party after the ceremony – they have a great celebration with plenty of food and drinks, music and dancing till the next morning. When the party is at its peak, it’s usually the time to dance the traditional dances – zeibekiko for the groom and çiftetelli for the bride. At some point at the end of the party, the guests eat the wedding cake. A typical, large Greek wedding could have anywhere from 100 to 250 invited guests, so the party is a big deal!
Photos from post-wedding/ honeymoon photo session with German Greek couple Georgia and Janni!
Photographer in Santorini Anna Sulte